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Carstares, William

Carstares, William (1649–1715). Ecclesiastical statesman. Carstares was born near Glasgow, the son of a presbyterian minister who took part in the 1666 covenanting rising. After attending Edinburgh University, he lived in Holland, where he was ordained. On his return to Scotland, he was imprisoned by Lauderdale 1674–9. When released, he resumed exile on the continent, in touch with Shaftesbury and William of Orange. He was again arrested after the Rye House plot in 1683 and sent to Scotland, where he was tortured before again being set free. He was then appointed chaplain by William and accompanied him on the 1688 expedition, conducting the thanksgiving service on their safe arrival at Torbay. Carstares became an influential adviser in religious matters and helped to persuade William to opt for a presbyterian settlement in Scotland. His political influence ceased with William's death in 1701 but from 1703 he was rector of the University of Edinburgh.

J. A. Cannon

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Carstares, William

William Carstares, 1649–1715, Scottish statesman and Presbyterian divine. While studying theology at Utrecht, he became a friend of William of Orange (later William III of England). He was imprisoned in Edinburgh (1674–79) for alleged coauthorship of An Account of Scotland's Grievances and again imprisoned and tortured in Edinburgh (1683) as a suspect in the Rye House Plot. He returned to Holland where he was made chaplain to William of Orange. He accompanied William to England in 1688 and became so powerful in his efforts to reconcile the new king and the Scottish church and to frustrate the Episcopalian Jacobites that he was nicknamed "the Cardinal." His influence continued under Queen Anne as he worked for the union of England and Scotland, served as principal of the Univ. of Edinburgh from 1703, and was four times moderator of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland.

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